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Balancing the Heart and Mind: Practice of the Four Immeasurables and Shamatha Meditation

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Balancing the Heart and Mind: Practice of the Four Immeasurables and Shamatha Meditation


Published December 10, 2006


The Jefferson Tibetan Society of Charlottesville, VA was pleased to host author, scholar and accomplished Buddhist practitioner Dr. Alan Wallace for a 2-day meditation retreat, Balancing the Heart and Mind: Practice of the Four Immeasurables and Shamatha Meditation.

B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D. is an internationally known meditation teacher, dynamic lecturer and scholar, one of the leading American translators, and on the forefront of Buddhism and Science research. He has been involved in the serious practice, study and translation of Buddhism for 35 years. He is one of the two primary translators to H.H. Dalai Lama for the Mind and Science conferences and research projects. His extensive books on Buddhism are helpful to people of the Vipassana and Zen traditions in addition to those of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Alan has engaged in extensive retreats throughout his life, including numerous solitary retreats and was a co-teacher of a 1 year Shamatha retreat. He will be leading two 3-month Shamatha retreats in 2007 as part of the pioneering Shamatha Research project, a scientific study of the long-term effects of meditation on cognitive, attentional and affective functioning. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst college, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science and has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. He was a Buddhist monk for 14 years and has edited, translated and authored or contributed to more than 30 books on Buddhism, medicine, language, science and culture.

We need to work with both the heart and mind, and their integrated cultivation is crucial to balanced spiritual practice. In this 2 day retreat on Balancing the Heart and Mind, Dr. Alan Wallace will focus on the cultivation of shamatha (meditative quiescence) and the Four Immeasurables (loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity). His unique combination of traditional Buddhist knowledge and modern psychology allows him to present these topics in a way that is both vivid and at the same time analytic and profound. The retreat will include extensive instruction, silent meditation and guided meditations, interspersed with periods for group discussions, focused on the practical applications of these practices in daily life.

The Jefferson Tibetan Society's primary function is to provide teaching and meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as exemplified by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings. See http://avenue.org/jts/ for more information.


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